Embodiment – living in awareness through your body – is also the way to feel interconnected to everything and everyone. As I turn my attention within my body, beyond my skin into my tailbone for instance, and I begin to explore how my tailbone moves ever so gently, I feel how it is connected to tissue and fluid, how the small muscles hold it in place, how there is a living web of aliveness inside my pelvis. Just as there is a world of beauty under the still surface of a lake or the waves of the ocean, there is a world of unimaginable complexity within us – a living breathing ecosystem.
As we connect up the dots in our own bodies we become aware, in a tangible physical way, that we are a part of everything.
Our breath, our blood, our hearts are totally dependent on the air and water which surrounds us. Our bodies are supported by the ground – the living Earth – through our feet and legs.
We are warmed by the sun and soothed by the moon.
As I consciously begin to acknowledge the ways in which I am intricately interconnected, I enter into deeper and more alive part of myself.
Feeling and sensing are the ways we embody – feeling an emotion, feel into how it lives in my torso, how I tense or erupt in laughter when hearing someone speak. A gentle doe bounds across the yard and I soften in sweet connection.
We are inextricably linked, and by attending moment to moment, we become aware of the living web that holds us. As I write this on the page my muscles are firing and my breath is moving, stirring the fluids inside me.
If I am engaged and excited, my breath moves in deeper waves. If I am bored or angry, my breath takes on a different shape. I look out the window, called by the insistent pecking of the woodpecker, and my breath changes again.
I am amused and delighted, and ripples swirl in my belly. All the while I am connected through my bones to the chair, held in gravity and the embrace of the air around me.
In the morning I write and move, exploring on the large area rug in my living room, noticing what words come without agenda, following the voices in my body.
An ache or a stiffness somewhere in my body, or a sensual stretch, each morning some new way in. Extending my fingers, the skin on my arms gently pulls over my muscle, I am drawn to my ribs and the movement of my breath.
My heart stirs in recognition of the subtle effort all around its resting place.
All of this and more in a moment, then in the next moment I become aware of the birdsong outside.
If I follow the feeling evoked by the sweet tones, I will feel a corresponding movement inside me. Life can be very simple if I begin by noticing what is within and around me.
It is a path that never ends, deepening in embodiment I grow in ever expanding joy, held in a web of interconnection, grateful for each moment.
Gratitude is another way to enter the web of connection.. When I feel stuck or disconnected, gratitude can be a way to reconnect.
Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of moving from the top of the head down, feeling grateful for each part of your body. Or I feel my gratitude for the tree outside my window, for the shelter from the sun and wind it provides, or its gentle beauty and presence.
In that moment I once again feel interconnected and held by my surroundings. I am not moving through the world, over a landscape,
I am embodied and embedded within its contours. I become aware that I am a small part of a vast and intricate living Earth, wild and free, changing moment to moment and yet held in an elemental web of mystery.